When speaking to groups, Shannon uses photographs and several pieces of artwork to help her tell her story. Her presentation can be tailored to fit your time-frame, audience size, and venue. A typical talk lasts for 50 min - 1 hour followed by a question and answer period with the audience and a book signing.
Shannon's story touches on many themes, including:
- Coping with the incarceration of a loved one
- The Ripple-Effect of Crime
- Spirituality, Compassion and Forgiveness
- Art and Writing in the Healing Process
"Shannon’s open recount of her trauma experience takes us into the complex journey of a person affected by crime, allowing us to reconsider our own perspectives on victims, their needs and their expectations. More importantly, Shannon’s story is a story of hope. Her courage to transcend the trauma and reconstruct the meaning of her life through the healing power of compassion and love that also embraces the offender, offers a tangible hope to all people affected by crime, their families, their communities. It is a transforming story—a story to listen to."
-Marinetta Cannito Hjort, Restorative Justice trainer/consultant; and Chaplain, American University, Washington, DC.
“Shannon presents very difficult and complex material in an engaging and articulate way that is emotionally impactful for the audience. Her story and artwork bring to the surface many of the stereotypes we tend to have, and challenge the dichotomies we create between ‘offender’ and ‘victim’. Hers was a victim perspective that I had not heard before.”
-Mark Yantzi, M.A.Sc, Executive Director of Community Justice Initiatives and former City Councillor, Kitchener, ON
“Shannon is an excellent presenter and educator on the topics of trauma, healing and redemption. Her artwork and storytelling provide a powerful presentation on her experiences as a victim of serious crime and how restorative justice played an important role in her own healing process. Her work will prove to be transformative for professionals in both the conventional and restorative justice fields.”
-Jessalyn Nash, M.A., Director, Restorative Justice for Youth Initiative, American Humane Association and Adjunct Professor, Criminal Justice, Sonoma State University, California
Shannon is a powerful and engaging speaker who has presented to groups in Canada and internationally that include lawyers, judges, restorative justice facilitators, police, high school and post-secondary students, social workers, correctional officers, victims of crime and prison inmates.
Women's Re-entry Centre, San Francisco, January 2009
Audience: Victim restoration staff, survivor's of violent crime, female ex-offenders, community support people, sheriff's department staff
San Bruno County Jail, San Francisco, January 2009
Audience: men convicted of violent crimes who are participating in RSVP: Resolve to Stop the Violence Program.
The following are quotes from inmates at San Bruno County Jail in San Francisco, California, taken from letters to Shannon following her presentation to them in January 2009. These men have all been convicted of violent crime and are participants in an award-winning restorative justice initiative called R.S.V.P.— Resolve to Stop the Violence Program. Shannon's talk was part of the empathy building and impact-awareness portion of the RSVP curriculum. For information and to view a video of this award-winning program, which has reduced the rate of violent recidivism for its participants by 80%, please click here
“I wish I could hear (Shannon’s) story every day, because it helped me to understand what I do to others! It also gave me strength to stop being violent and make a daily change. (Shannon) helped me understand and feel the true impact of my violence…(her) disclosure helped me like she said, ‘put the broken pieces of glass together’…I found some of myself in (her). Instead of asking WHY, I am going to look for answers to solve and stop my evil ways and violence. Like in (Shannon’s) art, I am going to swim like salmon upstream believing life has better things to offer…walk through the fears and anger within, looking at myself through mirrors no matter how hard it gets.”
“Listening to (Shannon’s) disclosure brought up a lot for me. I never really thought about the impact of my violence on my family…I see now what my violence does not only to my direct victims but to my family as well.”
“Hearing (Shannon’s) story was a reality check for me…I can now see where I hurt my wife and picture her on the phone with friends trying to get help to deal with issues that are unbelievable…I sat in my chair and cried on some of the things (Shannon) was saying. By (her) story that cut through bone and soul, I will no longer be selfish but will practice love and respect toward others. I want to thank (Shannon) and I wish that (she) will continue to heal and share her story all over the world.”
“What (Shannon) shared was very powerful for me as a person. I was with you all the way, but what you said that I needed to hear for my own growth was about being disconnected. Disconnection is an excuse not to feel. It’s a stereotypical defense mechanism. (Shannon) gave me insight. I know that from now on in my life, in order to begin my real healing process, I need to stay connected.”